Scarborough RNLI’s annual memorial service at St Mary’s Church
There was a good turnout for Scarborough RNLI’s annual memorial service at St Mary’s Church.
It was attended by the borough mayor, Cllr Hazel Lynskey, who was joined by her consort and son Mike Lynskey and granddaughter Ruby Lynskey. They were greeted by Colin Woodhead, who chairs Scarborough RNLI. Lifeboat operations manager Andy Volans gave the first reading.
The service, conducted by Rev Richard Walker and featuring Filey Fishermen’s Choir, marks the 65th anniversary of one of the worst disasters in the lifeboat’s history.
Three crew died when the ECJR lifeboat overturned in the south bay in a terrible storm on 8 December 1954.
In atrocious conditions, with enormous waves and a howling gale, the lifeboat had been at sea all afternoon, escorting fishing boats back to the harbour.
With its rescue work complete, the ECJR was engulfed by waves and capsized close to the harbour mouth.
The deaths of coxswain Jack Sheader, second coxswain John Cammish and signalman Francis Bayes devastated their families and numbed the whole town with shock and grief.
Every year since then, the anniversary of the tragedy has been commemorated by a church service remembering those three in particular but also other lifeboat crew who have perished at sea. They include Frank Dalton, who died in an accident in tumultuous seas on 9 December 1951.
RNLI Media contacts
* For details, ring Scarborough RNLI press officer Dave Barry on 07890 322992.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.